Fantasy Football Week 10 Start 'Em & Sit 'Em: Running backs

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Editor's note: Welcome to Week 10! We're handling Jamey Eisenberg's Start 'Em & Sit 'Em column a bit differently this season. You're still getting the same in-depth analysis as always, we're just presenting a bit differently, in an effort to get it out to you earlier in the day. This column takes a long time to write, and in the past, we've usually gotten it out to you in the evening. This year, we're going to publish it position-by-position, to get it into your hands quicker. Here's Jamey's take on running backs for this week.

Don't worry: If you want the classic Start 'Em & Sit 'Em, we'll still be publishing that at the end of the day with every position included. For now, here's running back.

Running backs

Start 'Em
12.6 projected points
Tevin Coleman Atlanta Falcons RB
Coleman was a beast in Week 9 at Washington with 13 carries for 88 yards, as well as five catches for 68 yards and two touchdowns on seven targets. He scored a season-high 31 PPR points, and he's now averaging 19 PPR points in his past three outings. He continues to share touches with Ito Smith — and Smith is a sleeper to use this week — but Coleman has the chance for another big week at Cleveland. The Browns have allowed nine total touchdowns to running backs in their past four games and allow the third-most Fantasy points to the position for the season.
13.3 projected points
Jordan Howard Chicago Bears RB
Howard has not had a great season, and he's been outplayed by Tarik Cohen more times than not. But he's been productive over the past three games, and he should have another strong performance against Detroit. Howard has four touchdowns in his past three outings, and he's scored an average of 13.3 PPR points over that span. This week, he's facing a Lions defense that has allowed a running back to either score or gain at least 100 total yards in seven of eight games this season. And Howard has been great against Detroit in his career. In four meetings over the past two seasons, Howard has 61 carries for 359 yards and one touchdown, as well as nine catches for 71 yards.
9.8 projected points
Mike Davis Seattle Seahawks RB
We're waiting to find out the status for Chris Carson (hip), but it would be a surprise if he played in Week 10 after he had to leave Week 9 against the Chargers. In his absence, Davis was a star with 15 carries for 62 yards, as well as seven catches for 45 yards on eight targets. He scored 17 PPR points, and he also had 28 PPR points in Week 4 at Arizona when Carson was out again. He followed up that performance with 12 carries for 68 yards and a touchdown, along with two catches for 7 yards in Week 5 against the Rams. The Rams have allowed five touchdowns to running backs in their past two games against Green Bay and New Orleans. Seattle also has at least one running back either scoring or gaining at least 100 total yards in five of the past six games.
12.1 projected points
Dion Lewis Tennessee Titans RB
Lewis is on fire coming into Week 10 in what will hopefully be a revenge game after he spent three years with the Patriots from 2015-17. Lewis had 19 total touches in Week 7 against the Chargers in London and scored 21 PPR points. He followed that up with 22 PPR points in Week 9 at Dallas with a season-high 23 total touches. Lewis is clearly ahead of Derrick Henry in this backfield split, and he should continue to get plenty of touches against the Patriots. And New England has struggled with pass-catching running backs this season, including Nyheim Hines in Week 5, Kareem Hunt in Week 6, Tarik Cohen in Week 7 and LeSean McCoy in Week 8. Lewis has at least three catches in six games this season.
11.4 projected points
Duke Johnson Cleveland Browns RB
In the first game with interim offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens, there was a noticeable difference for Johnson in Week 9 against the Chiefs — he was used. After not having more than six touches in any game prior to Week 9, Johnson led the team in receptions with nine on a team-high nine targets. He finished with 78 receiving yards and two touchdowns, along with one carry for 8 yards. Nick Chubb is a must-start option in all leagues against the Falcons, but Johnson is at least a flex in non-PPR, as well as a quality starting option in PPR. Atlanta allows the most receptions to running backs with 68 on the season, and seven have caught at least four passes in a game this year.

Sleepers

  • Elijah McGuire (vs. BUF): McGuire played 13 more snaps than Isaiah Crowell (36-23) in Week 9 at Miami, and he did nice job in his 2018 debut after being out to start the season with a foot injury. He had seven carries for 30 yards, as well as three catches for 37 yards on five targets. McGuire stepped right into Bilal Powell's role since Powell is out with a neck injury, and he can be a useful flex in Week 10 against the Bills, who have allowed a running back to score in three games in a row.
  • Josh Adams (vs. DAL): The Eagles could come off their bye week with Adams as their lead running back after the way he played in Week 8 against Jacksonville in London. He led the team in carries (nine) and rushing yards (61) against the Jaguars, while also adding one catch for 6 yards on seven targets. Wendell Smallwood and Corey Clement aren't going away, as well as Darren Sproles (hamstring) in line to return, but Adams is worth using as a flex in deeper leagues. Also, the Cowboys are without run stopper Sean Lee (hamstring) this week.
  • T.J. Yeldon (at IND): Leonard Fournette (hamstring) is expected to play this week for the first time since Week 4, and Carlos Hyde will also get touches. But Yeldon is still expected to play on passing downs, and he has at least five catches in four of his past six games. He also has four receiving touchdowns on the season. Yeldon is still worth using as a flex option in PPR, and the Colts allow the third-most receptions to running backs on the season.
  • Jalen Richard (vs. LAC): Like most of the Raiders, Richard had a bad game in Week 9 at San Francisco. He managed just four catches for 45 yards on four targets and scored only eight PPR points after he had at least 11 PPR points in three games in a row. He should get back on track this week with Oakland expected to be chasing points against the Chargers. And the Chargers have allowed a running back to score at least 11 PPR points with just their receiving totals alone in four games in a row, including Week 5 when Richard had six catches for 53 yards. He's a solid flex in PPR.
  • Ito Smith (at CLE): Smith scored a touchdown in Week 9 at Washington for the fourth time in his past five outings, and he also added 10 carries for 60 yards, as well as one catch for 4 yards. He's playing well in tandem with Coleman, and you can use Smith as a flex option in Week 10 at Cleveland. The Browns allow an average of more than 170 total yards to running backs on the season, so there's enough production to go around for Coleman and Smith this week.
Sit 'Em
8.4 projected points
Doug Martin Oakland Raiders RB
Martin played well in Week 9 at San Francisco under the circumstances since the Raiders were blown out 34-3. He had 11 carries for 49 yards to go with a 20-yard reception, and he now has 24 carries for 121 yards, as well as three catches for 37 yards in the two games without Marshawn Lynch (groin). The Chargers have allowed just one touchdown to a running back since Week 3, which was Derrick Henry in London in Week 7. And in Week 5, the Raiders running backs — with Lynch active — combined for 12 carries for 36 yards, along with eight catches for 63 yards, with Richard doing most of that damage. Martin is just a flex option at best.
8.9 projected points
Frank Gore Miami Dolphins RB
This feels more like a Kenyan Drake game than a Gore game given that the Dolphins will likely be chasing points on the road at Lambeau Field. Gore dominated touches in Week 9 against the Jets compared to Drake (21-7), and he continues to get more carries than Drake for the season. In the past five games, Gore has 69 carries to just 40 for Drake. But Drake also has 21 catches over that span, and Gore has just four. And despite all that work, Gore has combined for 15 PPR points in his past three games. Drake, meanwhile, has 46 PPR points over that span. Look for Drake to be needed in the passing game this week, and Gore will likely once again struggle with the carries he's given.
7.3 projected points
Peyton Barber Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB
Barber had a rough game in Week 9 at Carolina with 11 carries for 31 yards, as well as two catches for 9 yards. He's now scored a combined 20 PPR points in the five games that Ryan Fitzpatrick has started this year. This week, Barber faces a Washington defense that prior to Week 9 against Atlanta had been dominant against the run. Coleman's 88 rushing yards are the high against Washington, and we doubt Barber makes much of an impact in the passing game with just eight catches for the season. Barber is a low-floor, low-ceiling flex play this week.
6.6 projected points
Derrick Henry Tennessee Titans RB
Henry has scored in two consecutive games, but his role was diminished in Week 9 at Dallas coming off the Titans' bye. He was held to six carries and two catches against the Cowboys, which tied his season low in total touches. With Lewis taking on more of a role, especially in a game where Tennessee is likely chasing points against New England, Henry is going to have to score again to save his Fantasy production. And against the Patriots in the playoffs last year on the road, he was held to 12 carries for 28 yards, as well as three catches for 21 yards when he was in more of a featured role.
9.6 projected points
Austin Ekeler Los Angeles Chargers RB
Ekeler's role has decreased dramatically in recent weeks when Melvin Gordon has been healthy, and he has seven touches or less in the past three games when Gordon has been on the field. One of those was Week 5 against Oakland when he had six carries for 15 yards, but he also had a 44-yard touchdown reception. There's the chance for some garbage-time work here if the Chargers handle the Raiders early in the game as expected, as well as Ekeler breaking a big play, but it's hard to count on that given Ekeler's recent workload. He only had three carries for 21 yards and one catch for 13 yards in Week 9 at Seattle, and he's scored a combined 17 PPR points in his past three road games against the Rams, Browns and Seahawks.

Bust Alert

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Kerryon Johnson DET • RB • 33
Week 10 projection12.7 Fantasy points

In a matchup at Minnesota in Week 9, coupled with the return of Theo Riddick (knee) from a two-game absence, Johnson had his worst performance since Week 1 with just six PPR points. He had 12 carries for 37 yards, as well as three catches for 7 yards on five targets. He should do better at Chicago, but it might not be by much. Keep in mind that Johnson has just one touchdown on the season, which was in Week 4 at Dallas. And the Bears have yet to allow a touchdown to a running back on the ground this year. Chicago also has allowed just one running back to gain more than 60 rushing yards this season, which was Frank Gore in Week 6. Johnson is a flex option at best this week.

So who should you sit and start? And what shocking QB could win you Week 10? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy football rankings for every single position, and see which shocking QB finishes in the top 10 this week, all from the model that out-performed experts big time last season.

Senior Fantasy Writer

Jamey Eisenberg has been a Senior Fantasy Writer for CBS Sports since 2006 with a focus on Fantasy Football. A University of Florida grad (class of '98), Jamey got his start in the newspaper business and... Full Bio

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